Consumer World

Week of September 30, 2019 (see last week)

Top Stories

Health Care Costs Vary Widely, Surprise Bills Common Despite Being Insured

Health Care Costs In a series of stories, CBS News demonstrates huge variances in the price of various medical procedures, and how one man was charged $650,000 for an emergency operation despite having health insurance. Here also are 10 steps to appeal a medical claim denial or bill.

60 Years After Inception, Evelyn Wood (Speed) Reading Dynamics Called a Scam

Evelyn Wood Back in the '60s when MrConsumer was a teenager, his mother sent him to a much-publicized speed reading course called Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics. In the course, you were taught to follow your index finger as you zigzagged it quickly down each page of a book. Using this method they claimed you could read hundreds if not thousands of words per minute with equal or better comprehension (or your money back). Now nearly 60 years later, a new book entitled "Scan Artist: How Evelyn Wood Convinced the World That Speed-Reading Worked" [click "Look Inside" to read an excerpt] suggests that those who took her classes were conned into believing this unproven method really was legitimate. So was this the seed that inspired MrConsumer to become a consumer advocate?



Pricing Tricks Sellers Use to Get You to Buy

price tags Retailers and restaurants use well-tested methods to make prices seem lower than they are or to get you to buy more. We all know that ending prices with .99 makes them seem cheaper. But whether a dollar sign is used or not, or whether prices are expressed as whole numbers are tactics that some sellers use to their advantage.

Consumer World Original

Mouse Print* -- Tribune Newspapers Blur the Line Between Advertising and News Stories

mouse print Tribune-owned newspapers now have a section devoted exclusively to product reviews. Great, you say. Not so fast says MrConsumer who discovered that the papers make a commission on every product they recommend if you make a purchase. And some of the story topics hardly seem newsworthy, like "The Best Men's Slipper" or "The Best Nipple Pasties." That is our Mouse Print* story this week.

NOTE: We only feature free stories that are fully readable. If you are blocked, try a different browser and clear NYT and WashPost cookies from it. Other newspapers may block you based on your repeated use of their site, or convert previously free stories to pay stories without notice.


Bargain of the Week

Roku Streaming Players on Clearance at Walmart Stores

In Walmart stores only (prices not effective online), you can get a sizable discount on Roku streaming boxes and sticks as they make room for the new models coming soon. You use the devices to add streaming services to your current television set. Use the link to Brickseek to find out how many units of each type are in-stock at Walmart stores near you and at what price.

Get $10 Back on Everbilt Garbage Disposer

If you purchased the Everbilt 3/4 hp garbage disposer with 10-year warranty that we featured a few weeks ago for $109 at Home Depot, it is now $99 -- equal to the lowest price ever there. Just call the Home Depot 800 number to get back the difference.

See also: Hot Deals

Consumer Reports

How to Unlock Your Cellphone From the Four Major Carriers

Cell companies have used the ploy of putting a lock on your cellphone so that it only works on their network. After a certain time with the carrier, you can unlock it so it will work on other companies' networks. Here are the unlock rules and how-to instructions for each of the four major carriers.

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